The Giant Trash Patch

Recently I have been reading up on some facts about ocean pollution and I think the one thing that really shocked me was this: we have a trash patch. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean.

It’s basically a giant vortex of trash that spans waters from the West Coast of North America all the way to Japan. Technically there are two patches: the Western Garbage Patch is located near Japan and the Eastern Garbage Patch is located between Hawaii and California.

They’re linked together by the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone. This is just a fancy term for where warm water from the South Pacific meets up with cooler water from the Arctic. It basically acts as a highway that moves debris from one of the patches to the other.

Below is the picture of what the Patch looks like in a general sense.

Oversimplified graphic of "garbage patches" in the North Pacific Ocean

This is absolutely horrifying in my opinion. The fact that we have accumulated so much trash that we have this giant patch of it in our ocean is absolutely disgusting.

The reason it is so big though is because most of it isn’t biodegradable. Most plastics don’t wear down, like Styrofoam they just break down into tinier and tinier pieces never completely breaking down.

A report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation predicted there would be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050 unless urgent action was taken.

I’m going to end by putting in a picture of a boat among a lot of the trash for you guys to get an idea of what it really looks like.

Image result for great pacific garbage patch


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